Masculine Conversations

Masculine Conversations

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thankfulness Day 28: Curtis

Big brother, mentor, best friend, co-laborer for the Gospel, fellow doctor and missionary to be. Gardener, hiker, counselor, medical student, cellist, painter, luthier. Writer, thinker, future husband and dad, lover of kids, compassionate, driven, thoughtful, vibrant, can-do.

Yesterday, Curtis had a birthday! Since he would never tell you this himself, it's my chance to boast a little.

Curtis means the world to me. He has always been a stable force in my life, never judgmental or bossy, but always directing me along the straight and narrow path. He's always there when I need a listening ear and a sounding board for ideas, his hand on my shoulder telling me I'm doing the right thing.

There's something unique about this young man. When I look at Curtis, I see a tool God is crafting - a tool that feels good in the hand and is perfect for its job. Ever since I can remember, Curtis has had a passion for the lost, a drive to get out there and share the good news of Jesus Christ, and to make his life count for eternity. He's grown up on the stories of Jim Elliot, Amy Carmichael, Dr. Roseveare and others, and it shows.

But Curtis isn't about ministry to the exclusion of family. Rather, he cares deeply about family,and maintains a steady life balance, guarding family needs with healthy boundaries that dovetail his needs with ours and that provide harmony and peace in our home.

His love for the outdoors means that he can go from white-coated professional in the clinic down the road to soaked in mud as we bike through two-foot deep puddles in the Spring. In the Winter, he will wade around a rocky point with all of us in deep icy ocean water beneath our island cliff home, then carry his freezing sister home, set her by the fireplace and make her hot chocolate.

He knows how to dig a 26' pool by hand and how to go without electricity for a month of California summer, because it just isn't in the missionary-prep budget, and we're not big on debt. He can fell trees all day with a chainsaw, gently pull a child's sliver, nurse a dying kitten back to life, counsel a senior colleague, take joy in a long row of home grown tomatoes, deal respectfully with unbelievers and not budge an inch, and so much more.

And his path ahead, like mine, is full of uncertainty. Yet he trusts God. I am grateful that he has such a clear call, that he is willing to follow that call wherever it takes him, and that he is dedicated to doing so in a way that never compromises or sacrifices his family on the alter of ministry. We are on the same page with so many things, (despite our occasional lively discussions of certain non-core points of theology!), from how we will raise our children to honor God, to how to solve conflicts, to how to prioritize good time for memories/romance/music/reading/hiking with the one each of us marries... so we always enjoy worshiping God together in love and unity as we both pursue his calling on our lives.

Someday we would love to set up a clinic together, along with Austin, and use medicine, farming, and Biblical teaching to bring the good news of the Gospel to a needy people. For now, Curtis is blazing the trail as he nears the halfway point of medical school, and I couldn't wish for anyone better to follow along after. He's a man with a big vision to proclaim Christ to those who do not know Him, and it's exciting to see what God is doing in and through his life. 

Happy birthday, Curtis!

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